SYLLABUS: GS 2
General Studies -II: 250 Marks
(Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations)
- Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
- Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
- Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
- Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
- Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
- Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
- Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
- Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
- Role of civil services in a democracy.
- India and its neighborhood- relations.
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
- Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
UPSC Mains 2016 GS2 Question Paper
- Discuss the essentials of the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act and anomalies, if any, that have led to recent reported conflicts between the elected representatives and the institution of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi. Do you think that this will give rise to a new trend in the functioning of the Indian federal politics?
- To what extent is Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, bearing marginal note “temporary provision with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir”, temporary? Discuss the future prospects of this provision in the context of Indian polity.
- “The Indian party system is passing through a phase of transition which looks to be full of contradictions and paradoxes.” Discuss.
- Exercise of CAG’s powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and the States is derived from Article 149 of the Indian Constitution. Discuss whether audit of the Government’s policy implementation could amount to overstepping its own (CAG) jurisdiction.
- Discuss each adjective attached to the word ‘Republic’ in the ‘Preamble’. Are they defendable in the present circumstances?
- What was held in the Coelho case? In this context, can you say that judicial review is of key importance amongst the basic features of the Constitution?
- Did the Government of India Act, 1935 lay down a federal constitution? Discuss.
- What is quasi judicial body? Explain with the help of concrete examples.
- Professor Amartya Sen has advocated important reforms in the realms of primary education and primary health care. What are your suggestions to improve their status and performance?
- “In the Indian governance system, the role of non-state actors has been only marginal.” Critically examine this statement.
- “Effectiveness of the government system at various levels and people’s participation in the governance system are inter-dependent/” Discuss their relationship in the context of India.
- In the integrity index of Transparency International, India stands very low. Discuss briefly the legal, political, social and cultural factors that have caused the decline of public morality in India.
- Has the Indian governmental system responded adequately to the demands of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization started in 1991? What can the government do to be responsive to this important change?
- “Traditional bureaucratic structure and culture have hampered the process of socio-economic development in India.” Comment.
- Examine the main provisions of the National Child Policy and throw light on the status of its implementation.
- “Demographic Dividend in India will remain only theoretical unless our manpower becomes more educated, aware, skilled and creative.” What measures have been taken by the government to enhance the capacity of our population to be more productive and employable?
- “The broader aims and objectives of WTO are to manage and promote international trade in the era of globalization. But the Doha round of negotiations seem doomed due to differences between the developed and the developing countries.” Discuss in the Indian perspective.
- Evaluate the economic and strategic dimensions of India’s Look East Policy in the context of the post Cold War international scenario.
- “Increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in India and growing interference in the internal affairs of member-states by Pakistan are not conducive for the future of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).” Explain with suitable examples.
- What are the aims and objectives of the McBride Commission of the UNESCO? What is India’s position on these?
UPSC Mains 2015 GS2 Question Paper
Note: Each question carries 12.5 Marks (12.5×20 = 200 Marks )
- Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizen a uniform civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy.
- The concept of cooperative federalism has been increasingly emphasised in recent years. Highlight the drawbacks in the existing structure and extent to which cooperative federalism would answer the shortcomings.
- In the absence of well – educated and organised local level government system, Panchayats and Samitis have remained mainly political institutions and not effective instrument of governance. Critically Discuss.
- Khap panchayats have been in the news for functioning as extra – constitutional authorities, often delivering pronouncements amounting to human right violations. Discuss critically the actions taken by the legislative, executive and judiciary to set the things right in this regard.
- Resorting to ordinances has always raised concern on violation of the spirit of separation of power doctrine. While noting the rationales justifying the power to promulgate, analyse whether the decision of the Supreme Court on the issue have further facilitated to resorting to this power. Should the power to promulgate the ordinances be repealed?
- What are the major changes brought in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1966 through the recent ordinance promulgated by the President? How far will it improve India’s dispute resolution mechanism? Discuss.
- Does the right to clean environment entail legal regulation on burning crackers during Diwali? Discus in the light of Article 21 of Indian Constitution and judgements of the apex in this regard.
- Examine critically the recent changes in the rule governing foreign funding of NGOs under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976.
- The Self Help Group (SHG) Bank Linkage Program (SBLP), which is India’s own innovation , has proved to be one of the most effective poverty alleviation and women empowerment programme. Elucidate.
- How can be the role of NGOs be strengthened in India for development works relating to protection of the Environment? Discuss throwing light on the major constraints.
- The quality of higher education in India requires major improvement to make it internationally competitive. Do you think that the entry of foreign educational institutions would help improve the quality of technical and higher education in the country. Discuss.
- Public health system has limitation in providing universal health coverage. Do you think that private sector can help in bridging the gap? What other viable alternatives do you suggest?
- Though there have been several different estimates of poverty in India, all indicate reduction in poverty over time. Do you agree. Critically examine with reference to urban and rural poverty indicators.
- In the light of Satyam Scandal (2009), discuss the changes brought in the corporate governance to ensure transparency and accountability.
- If amendment bill to the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2011 tabled in the Parliament is passed, there maybe no on left to protect. Critically Evaluate.
- For achieving the desired objectives,it is necessary to ensure that the regulatory institutions remain independent and autonomous. Discuss in the light of experiences in recent past.
- Increasing interest of India in Africa has its pro and cons. Critically Examine.
- Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UNSC.
- Project ‘Mausam’ is considered a unique foreign policy initiative of Indian government to improve relationship wit its neighbours. Does the project have a strategic dimension? Discuss.
- Terrorist activities and mutual distrust have clouded India – Pakistan relations. To what extent the use of soft power like sports and cultural exchange could help generate goodwill between the two countries. Discuss with suitable examples.
UPSC Mains 2014 GS2 Question Paper
Answer the question in NOT MORE THAN 200 words each. Contents of the answer is more important than its length. All question carry equal marks.
- Staring from inventing the ‘basic structure’ doctrine, the judicial activism in achieving the ideals of democracy.
- Though the federal principal is dominant in our constitution and that principle is one of its basic features, but it is equally true that federalism under the Indian Constitution leans in favour of a strong Center, a feature that militates against the concept of strong federalism. Discuss.
- The ‘Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and its members’ as envisaged in Article 105 of the Constitution leave room for a large number of un-enumerated privileges’. How can this problem be addressed?
- What do you understand by the concept “freedom of speech and expression”? Does it cover hat speech also? Why do the films in India stand on a slightly different plane
from other forms of expression? Discuss.
- Instances of President’s delay in commuting death sentences has come under public debate as denial of justice. Should there be a time limit specified for the President to accept/reject such petitions ? Analyse. ]
- The size of the cabinet should be as big as governmental work justifies and as big as the Prime Minister can manage as a team. How far is the efficacy of a government then inversely related to the size of the cabinet? Discuss.
- Thought 100 percent FDI is already allowed in non-news media like a trade publication and general entertainment channel, the Government is mulling over the proposal for increased FDI in new for quite some time. What difference would an increase in FDI make? Critically evaluate the pros and cons.
- The setting up of a Rail Tarif Authority to regulate fares will subject the cash strapped Indian Railways to demand subsidy for obligation to operate nonprofitable routes and services. Taking into account the experience in the power sector, discuss if the proposed reform is expected to benefit the consumers, the Indian Railways or the private container operators.
- National Human Rights Commission (NIIRC) in India can be most effective when its tasks are adequately supported by other mechanisms that ensure the accountability of a government. In light of the above observation assess the role of NHRC as an effective complement to the judiciary and the judiciary and other institutions. In promoting and protecting human rights standards.
- The penetration of self-help groups (SHGs) in rural areas in promoting participation in development programmes is facing sociocultural hurdles. Examine.
- Do government’s schemes for up-lifting vulnerable and backward communities by protecting required social resources for them, lead to their exclusion in establishing businesses in urban economies?
- An athete participates in Olympics for personal triumph and nation’s glory; victors are showered with cash incentives by various agencles, on their return. Discuss the merit of state sponsored talent hunt and its cultivation as against the rationale of a reward mechanism as encouragement.
- Should the premier institutes like IITs/ IIMs be allowed to retain premier status, allowed more academic independence in designing course and also decide mode/ criteria of selection of students. Discuss in light of the growing challenges.
- Has the Cadre based Civil Services rganzation been the cause of slow change in India? Critically examine.
- Two parallel run schemes of the Government, viz the Adhaar Card and NPR, one as voluntary and the other as compulsory, have led to debates at national levels and also litigations. On merits, discuss whether or not both schemes need run concurrently. Analyse the potential of the schemes to achieve developmental benefits and equitable growth.
- With respect to the South China sea, maritime territorial disputes and rising tension affirm the need for safeguarding maritime security to ensure freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region. In this context, discuss the bilateral issues between India and China.
- The aim of Information Technology Agreements (ITAs) is to all taxes and tariffs on information technology products by signatories to zero. What impact would such agreements have on India’s interests?
- Some of the International funding agencies have special terms for economic participation stipulating a substantial component of the aid to be used for sourcing equipment from the leading countries. Discuss on merits of such terms and if there exists a strong case not to accept such conditions in the India context.
- India has recently signed to become founding member of New Development Bank (NDB) and also the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB). How will the role of the two Banks be different? Discuss the strategic significance of these two Banks for India.
- WTO is an important international institution where decisions taken affect countries in a profound manner. What is the mandate of WTO and how binding are their decisions? Critically analyse India’s stand on the latest round of talks on Food security.